Flower Pots & Faded Relationships | Restoring Vibrancy to Tired Love

Flower Pots & Faded Relationships | Restoring Vibrancy to Tired Love by Barbara Kane | Inspiring Story #149


In this beautiful short story, Barbara Kane takes us into her Summer garden. There she learns an important life lesson -  how a shift in perspective can transform and restore a once vibrant and loving relationship.

After a long winter landscape of brown and black, gray and snowy white, Spring finally arrived. Eager for a splash of color, I filled my outdoor flower pots with fresh soil and a mixture of red and white begonias, yellow marigolds, dainty blue lobelia, pink impatiens, and purple petunias.

Like infants, these plants required constant care.

Throughout the season, I hauled my flowered pots indoors whenever frost or hail threatened. I dead-headed faded blossoms and lugged watering cans back and forth for daily feedings despite the nuisance of biting black flies and marauding mosquitoes. Though my aging muscles and joints protested, they quieted each time my eyes surveyed the festival of color.

Thanks to periodic rain and regular refreshment from watering cans, my ever-thirsty plants survived and thrived for several weeks. Gradually, as summer approached Autumn, some of my annuals grew spindly while others turned brown and died. Though barely noticeable in the early stages, the flower arrangements lost their vibrant beauty.

In the past, as the summer season drew to an end, I would have emptied the pots and thrown out the plants even though a little life remained. This year, however, sad that our time together was over, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Blessed with a different perspective, now that I, too, was a bit wrinkled, droopy, and spindly with age, I chose not to dismiss my ephemeral flower babies.

 Blessed with a different perspective, now that I, too, was a bit wrinkled, droopy, and spindly with age, I chose not to dismiss my ephemeral flower babies.

I examined each of the arrangements in the pots, and taking care not to harm the healthy plants, I gently removed those that were lifeless and trimmed back the shriveled leaves of those that seemed determined to survive. In doing so, I discovered lovely blooms that had been hidden underneath overgrown plants. I transplanted and combined the healthy plants into fewer pots of fresh soil, taking care not to damage their roots with my trowel. 

The arrangements were transformed as if I had rotated a kaleidoscope a few degrees, and the result was equally pleasing.

Like flower arrangements planted in pots at the beginning of Spring, love, too, begins full of life, rich in color. Over seasons, subtle changes, often unnoticed, eventually occur, and love may suffer. Some relationships become stifled or rootbound. Others lack emotional warmth, and for some, life-sustaining thirsts fail to be quenched. Occasionally, major disturbances shock and damage tender roots of trust.

Even so, all is not lost. As with plants in a pot, partners can choose to reconstruct and resurrect a loving relationship, especially if the bond has brought forth more joy than hurt and still has much to offer. Examining what is worth saving, though some pain may be involved, partners must do the work of discarding and pruning detrimental behaviors, old habits, and/or poor attitudes. They must be patient and gentle with each other as they protect and nurture that which they wish to preserve.

With loving effort and care, relationships may be reconfigured. Rooted deeply in compassion, self-awareness, and gratitude, they become rich and vibrant once more.

Meet Barbara Kane

Hi, I’m Barbara!

I’ve been writing stories and musings in notebooks and journals for over thirty years. Whether writing about a past or recent experience, I recognize how I continue to gain wisdom as I grow older.

As a teacher for over fifty years, my aim has always been to help others find the spark that lights them up and helps them move forward.

At the age of 75, I’m still ‘feeling the path’ beneath my feet. I invite everyone and especially those of us on paths later in life, to continue to step out of our comfort zones. We can remain youthful in our hearts and minds by living a creative life, a curious life, and discovering gifts along the way.

Follow me here:  www.feelingthepath.com


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Share the Inspiration
  • Evelyn says:

    People in our lives sometimes surprising us in various ways. Thank you Barbara for such beautiful motivation towards relationship.❤️

  • Fathima says:

    Thank you Barbara for this beautiful eye opener. Relationships need to be nurtured and pruned just like flowers, indeed! Time to get rid of bad habits and look for the good healthy plant/love.

  • Kira Kira says:

    We’ve definitely had our moment of things fizzling out over the years but it’s so easy to get back in touch with each other 🙂

    • Barbara Kane says:

      Thank you for responding to my story. Relationships require attention and care, but oh so worth it.

      • JENNIEVI DUNQUE says:

        Hi Ma’am Barbara… I love your story about your lovely flowers and its significant to our lives… I feel like crying because I feel the profound joy these flowers give to you. While reading, I see my mother in you…her love for petunias, bougainvilleas and roses…
        You know, my mother keeps on telling me everyday that these plants give her the energy to live and to continue living for us, her children. If we are not around during the day, she can still smile because she has her plants whom she talks silently. I believe that the plants and its flowers lengthen our lives.

        I really love flowers too, especially petunias and daisies but i am not a green thumb… i hope one day God will bless me with green thumb so that when I retire, i can take care of my mom’s plants, as she is getting older too..☺️☺️
        Thanks to Ma’am Karletta…♥️♥️♥️

        • Barbara Kane says:

          Jennievi, I’m so glad you appreciated my story and that it made you think of your mother. I believe plants and flowers lengthen our lives. I can tell you have a big heart. So glad this connected me with you. I am getting over Covid and reading your comment brought me some needed joy since I have been too sick to garden. -Barb

  • Joanna says:

    This is such a lovely way to look at a relationship. Indeed, just like flowers, if you care and search for that lost passion, you will find something to hang on and bring it back to life. I actually bought flowers for my hanging baskets today, and I am looking forward to creating beautiful arrangements in time for summer.


    This is an interesting take on relationships. They do go through different stages but with a little attention can be made “rich and vibrant” again.

  • Rhian westbury says:

    Such a lovely story. There’s a lot of things that need a bit of nurture and care to blossom x

  • Loved reading this, like anything relationships can wilt, but with tlc they can come back to full bloom

  • Karletta Marie says:

    Absolutely loved this walk through your wisdom filled garden. Your writing is filled with love and you touch my heart xo

  • Talya says:

    I really love this. So true relationships can wilt a little and go through phases but I agree they can come back to life with a little tender loving care and effort.

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    karletta marie - daily inspired life

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    Hi, I'm karletta marie.

    JOIN and get your free digital magazine with inspiring stories straight to your inbox PLUS tools to start creating your beautiful life.